It is the mission of the Shelby County Public Libraries to make available quality public library service to all of Shelby County, regardless of place of residence.
It is the mission of the Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library to support the Public Libraries of Shelby County to fulfill this mission.
Introduction to the System
The Public Libraries of Shelby County consists of fourteen libraries: the headquarters library, eleven member libraries, two branches, and one member-branch library.
Eleven of these libraries are located in and supported by the following municipalities:
Alabaster (Albert L. Scott Library), Calera (Roy Downs Memorial Library), Chelsea (Chelsea Public Library), Columbiana (Columbiana Public Library), Harpersville (Harpersville Public Library), Helena (Jane B. Holmes Library), Montevallo (Parnell Memorial Library), Pelham (Pelham Public Library), Vincent (Vincent McGraw Public Library), Westover (Westover Public Library) and Wilsonville (Vernice Stoudenmire Public Library).
The North Shelby Library, is located in a legally established library district and is supported by fees levied by that district. The Mount Laurel Library is a branch of the North Shelby Library and is supported by the district library.
The final library, the Mildred B. Harrison Library, is the system headquarters for the county.
Public Libraries of Shelby County
The Public Libraries of Shelby County exist to meet the educational, informational and recreational information needs of Shelby County residents. Shelby County libraries are linked together as a cooperative library system. By working together the libraries are better equipped to serve all the residents of the county more efficiently than any individual library working alone. It is the mission of the Public Libraries of Shelby County to make available quality public library service to all of Shelby County, regardless of place of residence. Quality library service not only includes local and outreach programming for preschool through senior adult but also providing material in multiple formats to supply patrons’ needs in a timely manner. Fulfilling this mission is heavily dependent upon resource availability. Thus, several years ago the library system initiated a delivery system using a van which follows a 93.45 mile route four days a week so that the resources of all the libraries would be accessible to every library patron regardless of place of residence. In a further effort to assist patrons’ access to materials, the library system implemented patron placed holds. The result of all this is the circulation rate for all the public libraries in Shelby County combined has increased seventy-three percent over the past five years. Sizes of individual libraries vary but no matter the size, every library provides its community with much needed, high-quality library service.
Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library
As the libraries' mission is to meet patron demand, it is Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library’s mission to support our member libraries in this endeavor. The Harrison Regional Library is the organization that coordinates the efforts of the other thirteen libraries in the county. Ways in which Harrison Regional Library satisfies its mission is through technological, cataloging, and administrative assistance which involve distribution of state aid funds, a centralized location for internet access and filtering services, integrated library system (which is the combined database of item and patron records with an interface to circulate materials to patrons), grant writing, interlibrary loan, and second level of reference. However, Harrison Regional Library also offers direct service to patrons including programs to all Shelby County Senior Centers, books-by-mail, interlibrary loan and reference services, and computer classes.